When it comes to the British royal family, our knowledge is limited by the strict regulations the royals are expected to adhere to in order to preserve their image. Consequently, much of their personal life is shrouded in mystery. So, it was rather refreshing to see the release of Harry and Meghan, a Netflix documentary about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their relationship journey. This six-episode-long documentary series covers the initial meeting of Harry and Meghan, their current life, and aspirations for the future.
Let’s start with the positives: the documentary offered a closer look at the media coverage and the intrusion of privacy of the royal couple. Meghan’s biracial background contributed to the negative coverage by the media; she noted that she was treated differently than Kate Middleton simply due to her race. Harry recalls that there were two articles written about both Kate’s and Meghan’s pregnancies: Kate’s article discussed how far along she was in her pregnancy, while Meghan’s criticized the way she was holding her baby bump. Meghan stated that her racist coverage became so bad she thought, “this would all end if I wasn’t here. It was scary.” Her comments were honest and revealed her courage in participating in the documentary.
Overall, the whole documentary was very personal and offered new insight into parts of Harry’s and Meghan’s lives. Harry discussed how he grew apart from his brother, William, after discovering that he had betrayed Harry to the press. Meghan also discussed her family, revealing chat histories with her father and half-sister.
However, there are a few odd spots in the documentary. Both Harry and Meghan seemed to have a very bad perception of the press (and for good reason), but they never gave a straightforward answer about why they then decided to put themselves in the public’s eye through this documentary. Harry in particular gave very strong answers about the media, claiming that it had an impact on Meghan’s miscarriage in 2020. The documentary didn’t wrap this up very well, skimming over the complexities of their relationship with the press.
Harry and Meghan proved to be revealing by stressing the importance of privacy and a less intrusive press. It presented the concerns of the Sussexes in an effective way, combining their interviews with media clips and personal videos. The documentary gives both of them more humanity instead of treating them as prey for the media. While not perfect, Harry and Meghan‘s story invites us to rethink the impact and ethics of media.